Title: Alias French Gertie Directed by: George Archainbaud Actors: Bebe Daniels, Ben Lyon, Robert Emmett O Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures Release Date: 20 April 1930 (USA) Aspect Ratio: 1.20 : 1
October 18, 2019 Subject:
Daniels and Lyon Courtship Via Film
What starts off as a possible and promising screwball comedy morphs into a feel-good, cautionary melodrama on the power of love. Bebe Daniels ("French Gertie" Jones) and Ben Lyon (Jimmy Hartigan) are crooks who use different methods to achieve their ends: Daniels poses as a French maid to wealthy women, gains their trust, and eventually robs them; Lyon is a safe cracker. They meet cute (as would say today) over the same robbery and become an item when Lyon, to save Daniels, takes the rap and does a year in jail. Gertie is there when he is released. On Gertie's insistence, they go straight - but, Lyon can't resist his old ways and is being followed by Robert Emmet O'Connor (Detective Kelcey), the detective that caught him the first time. For some reason, the detective has a dogged interest in the couple. The story continues to get more complicated as Lyon is set up to take the rap by a larcenous sweet old couple who live next door. And then various crooks get involved. All the trappings of screwball comedy, but it turns maudlin and melodramatic. In the end, Daniels and "Love" save the day, and even the detective is on board. All the actors are good and the Daniels/Lyon chemistry lead to marriage three months later that lasted 41 years until her death.